Do come to American Patriots – even on Spring Break

Date: March 8, 2024

My policy since starting in 2007 is that we keep those things required to a minimum. Given we are a graduate school, classes are important. And then given we are a place of formation, one corporate act of worship each day and lunch in the Refectory are important. On top of that, I insist on full participation in the events marking the commemoration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Then everything else (and there are lots of events) are invitations that you can consider.

But (and I am always careful with that word), there are moments when I strongly encourage. And this is one of those days. I have been tracking closely the emergence of the Theatrical Song Cycle “American Patriots” which is being produced by Samantha Williams. As I learned about the highly innovative combination of research, narrative, and music, I am increasingly persuaded that the right term to describe this moment is historic. We will be seeing something that will reverberate down the decades. To explore the “contentious” – perhaps – theme of patriotism through the eyes of three very different perspectives will be extraordinary. Perhaps in this election year, at this time of polarization, this will be the most important show you will ever watch. To hear from the inside the African-American, Native American, and white Working-Class America perspectives will be a unique opportunity to transcend our bubbles.

I appreciate it is spring break. I also appreciate that some will already have plans. But for those able, do buy a ticket here: this will be amazing.

The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary and the President of The General Theological Seminary

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